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Article #50,000: Harry believes that Woody Allen's MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is the best film yet of 2011!

Woody Allen's professional film career basically spans my lifetime.   His first directed from scratch film was TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN, which is technically the second film on his Director List after WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILY? but that film was shot and directed by another, until Woody reworked and dubbed it to become his on crazy film.   

But for me, in 1971 - Woody came out with BANANAS.   Then next years was EVERY THING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK and then the next year came SLEEPER.   My parents fell in love with these 3 Woody Allen films - and in my house, Woody kind of represented the kind of intellectual classic & foreign film loving geek that appreciated fine art, literature and music.   He was held up as being my parent's KIND of person.   Over the course of Woody's career we've seen him geek out with Humphrey Bogart in PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM...   Have metaphysical & romantic romps with fictional characters in THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO...     I've had two romances in my life that literally felt quite a bit like both of the relationships in MANHATTAN...  and I have never theatrically missed seeing a new Woody Allen film.

That said, when the press screening was set for 10am, on the day where I was going to be hosting a quadruple feature that would end at close to 4am, well...  there was no question, I had to do it.   So Yoko and I set out to check out a screening at the Violet Crown Cinema here in Austin, our first visit, and the film we found waiting for us is my fave Woody film since THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO.

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is a time travel fantasy.   This is Time Travel in the way that Hendrik Willem Van Loon used it in his VAN LOON's LIVES, which is using the idea of Time Travel for its fanciful notions as opposed to using it as tech fetishry.  

The film starts with Owen Wilson in the Woody part as a frustrated hack screenwriter that is pulling his hair out over doing what he really wants to do, which is to write his great novel.   Owen's Gil is engaged to Rachel McAdams' Inez...   a girl that he should frankly be wary of - as she doesn't seem to really "get" Gil, and has a Republican father that is absolutely culturally stunted.   One night while Gil and Inez are sharing a happenstance meal & drinks with Michael Sheen's Paul - a know it all professorial snob that Gil can't really stand to be around.   So Gil sends Inez off with Paul & his date to go dancing and he's just going to walk the wine buzz off and head back to the hotel.   Only, Gil gets turned around on the twisty turny streets of Paris - and while taking a rest upon some steps in Paris, a vintage yellow magic carpet with four wheels pulls up - it's vintage denizens scoop him up and suddenly...

He slowly begins to realize...  he's in Paris of the 1920's.   He gathers this while talking with F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda Fitzgerald as they're at a private affair being entertained by Cole Porter.   This is Gil's dream.   He'd give anything to live in Paris of the 20's - and by the time this first night is over, he has met and conversed with a young fiercely empowering Ernest Hemingway who has offered to introduce Gil to the legendary Gertrude Stein, who would look at his manuscript.   Gil flips.   Leaves the scene to go get his manuscript, quickly turns around to find out where to meet - only to find the bar that they were conversing in...  has become a Coin Operated Laundry Store Front.  

From this point on, the film becomes a bit like CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND...  this singular magical experience sets Gil on a personal journey that takes him further and further away from his wife to be, and shows Gil the void he has in his own life.   He meets many historical figures, including one absent from history, a muse played by Marion Cotillard, Adriana.   She's currently Pablo Picasso's mistress...  but artist egos being what they are, she's soon pursued by Ernest Hemingway - and our dear Gil.   

That's all I'll give you.   There is travel that takes you to other periods of Paris, but how all this plays out - well it is something of a blessing to see it play out for you.   By the time you're sitting with Owen as he's explaining his time traveling conundrum with surrealists like Dali & Bunuel...  well...  it is bliss.   

This is a film that wallows in nostalgia for a period and time that is truly the stuff of fantasy.   

Woody handles the switches of period with ease.   Making it all effortlessly make sense to me.   I so want to get in that car and go on these midnight outings in one of the most amazing cities in the world - which could only be enhanced by exploring the glory of it's even greater past.

Woody Allen understands the fantasy of time travel perhaps better than anyone that I've ever seen play with it.   To simply go back and observe the atmosphere of the time, to have conversations with the giants of that era, to romance the women that gave that magical inspiration to the artists of the era... well it is something sublime.   A  film to dream along with and be enraptured by.   The film plays like a great date.   

I'm the sort of person that relishes the history of places.   Being in the various studios where WIZARD OF OZ & THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD were shot, seeing the buildings that Porky Pig was chased through...   It's why I collect things from the past.   Holding my 1933 KING KONG smoke bomb - knowing that this carved and painted piece of wood once fell the mightiest creature from classic Hollywood...  it's such a rush.   Such a thrill.   I look at the B&W film - and hold this bomb and I have a connection to Robert Armstrong, but oh how I'd love to get him drunk and hear his stories.   Just to hear him speak and converse outside of the scripted dialogue I've spent a lifetime watching, that's the dream of Time Travel.   The fantasy of Time Travel - and it is what Woody Allen understands most.   I've always dreamt of simply time traveling to the screening of KING KONG at Graumann's Chinese Theater and sit behind the teenage trio of Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen and Forrest J Ackerman and then go have a post film snack and join the chatter about seeing KING KONG for the first time.   To watch the stage show that happened before the film played.   It's an impossible dream, but one that you can live out with the magic of cinema.

Woody Allen is one of our greatest geek filmmakers - and he does it in subtle ways that I love.   This is amongst his best works in quite a long time.   He's made a lot of strong films recently, but MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is the exact kind of romantic fantasy whimsy that made me fall in love with Woody back in the 70s and again through the 80s.   

Do not miss this film.   It has completely captured not only me, but my wife Yoko as well.   We're over the moon for this one and can't wait for you to join me in this love affair with Paris throughout the ages...

So yeah, this is the film I wanted to celebrate our 50,000th article on AICN about.  It's not one of the giant releases of the Summer, but it will most likely be the best.

Readers Talkback
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  • June 11, 2011, 6:54 p.m. CST

    COngrats on the 50K Harry


    I'm glad it was a woody Allen thread and not some other shite.

  • June 11, 2011, 6:55 p.m. CST

    I would love to see quint tackle woody


  • June 11, 2011, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Bravo !

    by Thomas_Silane

    For the 50000th article and for the very accurate review !

  • June 11, 2011, 6:58 p.m. CST

    Gene wilder was fucking magic in...


  • June 11, 2011, 7:05 p.m. CST



    Everything you've always wanted to know about sex...

  • June 11, 2011, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Wilder was NOT fucking magic.....

    by Loosejerk

    he was fucking SHEEP!

  • June 11, 2011, 7:15 p.m. CST

    My wife and I saw it yesterday. Totally agree!

    by antonphd

    Best film of the year so far and one of Woody's best films. We loved every moment. And the bit about agreeing to disagree about politics while still respecting each other was priceless. And the trailer we saw for The Devil's Double looks fucking awesome!

  • June 11, 2011, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Congratulations on the 50,000 article!

    by antonphd

    I'm happy it is aboutsuch a wonderful film.

  • June 11, 2011, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Woody seems to have plenty of stories left to tell

    by Star Hump

    and what's great is that he's setting his more recent stories in the great cities of Europe - London, Barcelona and now back to Paris. I fell in love with Paris when I visited in 2009. It's such a magnificent city. I'd rise early and hit the streets and not come back to the hotel until I was exhausted. Paris makes you feel alive. So much to drink in. Combine a great setting with what looks like another Allen foray into whimsy and romance and you've got the recipe for another solid entry in Allen's recent run of really solid movies. When Woody's on, it's movie magic. MIDNIGHT has been getting rave reviews, and it looks like it really cast a spell on you, Harry. Congrats on aicn's 50,000th article.

  • I love ZELIG and the obvious classics, but I haven't seen a good (new) Woody Allen movie in over a decade.

  • June 11, 2011, 8:02 p.m. CST

    50.000 ... bloody hell.



  • June 11, 2011, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Paris makes you feel alive. So much to drink in.


    True words. Paris and Venice are the most beautiful cities I've visited in recent years.

  • June 11, 2011, 8:39 p.m. CST


    by CreepyThinMan

  • June 11, 2011, 9:42 p.m. CST

    loosejerk Thanks for the giggle

    by JethroBodine


  • June 11, 2011, 9:54 p.m. CST

    overhyped review does this movie no favors

    by professorjack

    This is a very likeable little movie. But writing a review acting like its the most amazing, best thing ever is just going to disappoint anyone who sees it.

  • June 11, 2011, 9:56 p.m. CST



    if the movie doesn't unleash passion in you, do not denigrate its ability to unleash passion in others.

  • June 11, 2011, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Very good film

    by cylon_conspiracy

    And I liked that it had a bit of a message to it, other than "men and women have a hard time getting along". He does that better than most but I especially love the films where he gets into what it means to be an artist. Of course if anyone has a fetish for times gone by and for a different era it's him, which is why the movie is so effective to me as an Allen fan.

  • I mean, come on, look at him.

  • June 11, 2011, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Not a Geek

    by Iahael

    Woody Allen is not a "Geek" filmmaker, or a "Geek" intellectual. Either this is Harry's attempt to push an image over on us, or he is simply unable to refer to the man otherwise as it might show the cracks in the system, as it were. This false culture of collectibles, cinematic junk and reverse-snobbery must end. Let the film be what it is, not what we want to see it as, or what it would've been 30-40 years ago; just a film and the director is just a filmmaker. T.'.

  • Sorry about that stupid headline to troll you into reading my rant here, but I have to say Harry you are blessed that your parents exposed you to Woody Allen. What I am even more impressed with is that you declare this is your Academy Aware vote for the best picture of the year. He emulated his work on the formless comedy of the Marx Brothers and has taken the genre to a whole new level. I hope you are excited as I am to see how he directs a film about the origin of jazz in New Orleans. Too bad this movie tentatively titled "American Blues" featuring the polar opposite careers of both Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet might not be made because $80 to $100 million is too expensive to give Woody Allen for a movie? He can make a great movie for a shoe string budget of $80 let alone so much!!!

  • June 12, 2011, 12:09 a.m. CST

    Woody & Owen

    by mike904

    Did you notice how much Owen Wilson sounded like Woody Allen? The dialog was pure Woody no matter who played the part.

  • June 12, 2011, 12:11 a.m. CST

    by mike904

    Absolutely! Paris has history and beauty everywhere you look.

  • June 12, 2011, 12:13 a.m. CST

    The Detective

    by mike904

    What happened to the detective? Did he rot in the Bastille?

  • June 12, 2011, 1:24 a.m. CST

    50 thousand posts... wow. My hat's off to you, sir.

    by Subovon

    Especially since you your second act as a walking man, you stand to give us a whole lot more. Thank goodness for Woody and thank goodness for harry who reminded me there's a movie out that I actually *need* to see.

  • June 12, 2011, 2:10 a.m. CST

    Wasn't sure, but

    by mike yager

    you sold me. Definitely hitting this before it leaves town... right after Tree of Life. Excited about the next week. Thanks Harry. Congrats on 50000

  • June 12, 2011, 5:33 a.m. CST

    But has this article been unpublished?

    by Stegman84

    Hopefully canned_dirty-ape will be able to solve this mystery for us once and for all...

  • June 12, 2011, 5:39 a.m. CST

    Yay! 50, 000 articles posted on AICN!!!

    by Stegman84

    Um, 49,999 posts. Make that 49,998 posts. Er, 49,997 posts. Would you believe 49,996 posts? 49,995 posts perhaps? 49,994. 49,993...

  • June 12, 2011, 6:09 a.m. CST

    TheArticleHasBeenUnpublishedOr does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai


  • June 12, 2011, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Allen hasn't made a good film since the 80's

    by Candy ass monkey suit

  • June 12, 2011, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Harry finally reviews Midnight in Paris!

    by Fieldingm

    But it was worth the wait, and entirely worthy of your 50,000th article. This is indeed a great film - as many filmgoers are discovering - and there's already talk that it will figure prominently come awards season. I hope so, because it absolutely deserves it!

  • June 12, 2011, 8:47 a.m. CST

    he's made a lot of strong films recently?

    by rogerdodger21

    um, name one. i respect the fact that allen moves forward making movies like a cobbler makes shoes, but i wouldn't call his recent output "strong." however, i have heard good things from non-film nerds and have hope.

  • June 12, 2011, 9:17 a.m. CST

    do not denigrate...

    by misterfurly

    why not? not everyone will think this movie is as good as you. "bliss" dont think so, first off i fucking hate that word, its overly used, but at least your not saying "bugfucknuts" which is fucking retarded and i see other talkbackers using it too. sigh. this movie is "cute" at best, it has good set design owen wilson is passable but not interesting, his relationship with his wife is unrealistic and the way the historical figures are portrayed is cartoonish. did i denigrate it harrry? too bad.

  • June 12, 2011, 9:34 a.m. CST

    woody allen has always been hit and miss.,,,

    by emeraldboy

    but that is only my opinion. my fave woody allen film is bullets over broadway. diane wiest has never better.

  • June 12, 2011, 9:38 a.m. CST

    If this review had come out earlier

    by Truxton Spangler

    people would be giving Harry shit for spoiling the time travel element (which most reviewers took care not to reveal).

  • June 12, 2011, 10:12 a.m. CST

    50,000 articles and his grammar is still shit

    by Andy Pandy

    Congrats Harry

  • June 12, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST

    This is all well and good. And yet...

    by Zeno

    The whole Soon-Yi thing. Euraggh. Big Woody Allen fan back in the day. Crimes and Misdemeanors was one of my favorite movies. Yet I still have a hard time separating the man from his art.

  • June 12, 2011, 10:44 a.m. CST

    I don't buy this 'Allen is a geek' business

    by PaulSC

    Seems like an attempt at drawing an equivalency between the 'intellectual classic & foreign film loving geek that appreciated fine art, literature and music', and man children who mainly love movies about toys and franchises from their childhood.

  • June 12, 2011, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Is he still with Soon-Yi?

    by MST3KPIMP

    That's gotta be one of the longest unions in showbiz history.

  • June 12, 2011, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Congrats! But....

    by Tank Williams

    HA! You thought I was going to dis on Harrys article choice.. Not today! But I am curious to who keeps track of all the article #'s?

  • This is most evident in "Whatever Works". Larry David is playing Woody Allen. It looks like Owen Wilson takes the mantel in this film

  • June 12, 2011, 11:24 a.m. CST

    50,000 articles later...

    by MC-909

    ...and they all still read like they were written by a 12-year-old stroke victim. There are periods being used instead of commas, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, horrible sentence composition, and bullshit that has absolutely nothing to do with the film. I read this article simply because it was #50,000, hoping and praying some sort of grammatical corner had been turned. Nope. In fact, this article probably takes AICN ten steps back. Harry's writing is fucking insulting to anyone with half of a brain and I'm sick of it. "So don't read Harry's articles!" No fucking problem. They can't really be read anyway. They must all be decyphered and once they are (if they can be...what in the fuck does King Kong have to do with Woody Allen?) there's nothing there worth value, only the entertainment of reading the ramblings of a socially and grammatically stunted "critic" that has no idea how to compose a readable article. That's Harry's fucking job and he has no idea how to do it. We're supposed to trust the opinion of someone like that? Hahaha! Fuck this shit. Thank God for the talkbacks.

  • June 12, 2011, 11:27 a.m. CST

    I'm suspicious of the best of 2011 claim

    by vorlonkosh

    Guess i'll check it out and see. Never cared for Woody's films in the past.

  • June 12, 2011, 11:32 a.m. CST

    i started to read john baxter's book about woody

    by emeraldboy

    allen and found allen to be so obnoxious. that stopped reading it and will not be picking it up anytime soon to finish. i got to the point where mia farrow said that she created his persona of the glasses, the hat and the suit and she noted that very soon all his wardrobe was full of the same clothes, she then realised how utterly manipulative allen was. his ex american producer soon learned the same thing. I once saw woody allen up close and personal. my late parents and I were in Sligo, and walking up the beach 2 feet a head of us was a small man wearing a green shirt, blue denim trousers and a hat. we got to the top of the beach, by which time allen had turned around and was walking down the other end. my mother said did you know who that was and said, no and she said thats woody allen. as we were walking up the beach I spotted a blonde haired lady sitting in a circle surrounded by children and that of course was mia farrow. I also met Jack Charlton and said hello and he didnt respond and my dad said do you know who that was and I said that was jack charlton and why didnt say hello and my father said he was a gruff bastard.

  • June 12, 2011, 11:46 a.m. CST

    at the 2002 academy awards...

    by emeraldboy

    woody allen said that when he heard that academy called he thought they wanted his oscars back. bum bum

  • June 12, 2011, 11:50 a.m. CST

    critics love his new york period...

    by emeraldboy

    which is full of jewish humor. mainstream audiences shun woody allen. the older allen got, when he was both directing and starring in films himself and cast himself opposite younger actresses like mira sorvino, it looked horrible.

  • June 12, 2011, 1:24 p.m. CST


    by misterfurly

    i must agree with you. harry can do whatever he wants but his articles are horribly written and his grasp of the english language seems nominal at best. you would think spell checking or proof reading would be some kind of priority considering his stupid quotes and sometimes publicized . i usually read his "reviews" out of boredom rather than actually relying on anything resembling a coherent review that talks about pacing, score, editing, performances, tone etc. he can touch on those things but theyre usually off base and you have to slog through hearing about his re hab, his childhood, what its like being a red head, his man crushes and him dropping his little asian wife's name and the fact the theyre married. harry needs a therapist. i wonder if he even bothers reading this stuff or is just completely immune to criticism. im sure he is since its his site, he gets paid and makes a living giving his typically over personal crappy reviews.

  • Love your way of looking at life Harry - you are an inspiration!

  • June 12, 2011, 3:05 p.m. CST

    "your moms box" hit the nail on the head

    by sunwukong86

    Harry is no longer a movie reviewer, he's just a giant raving fanboy. The other reviewers on this site at least try to do their jobs

  • June 12, 2011, 3:06 p.m. CST

    It's an amazing movie

    by Andrew Coleman

    Saw it yesterday and fully enjoyed it. Review was right on.

  • June 12, 2011, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Wow bitter much?

    by Andrew Coleman

    I find it very pathetic some of you come here read Harry's reviews... Then post that Harry only writes horribly written reviews and blah blah blah. So wait a second why do you come here? Or why do you read them? One moron went on to say Harry needs a therapist. Look in the mirror bud. You came on here, read a review you knew you wouldn't like, then posted a page long review about how bad Harry reviews films. How bitter are you? Go see a therapist. You guys realize you don't come off looking "cool" or close to smart. You look bitter and filled with self loathing bull shit. It'd take the comments more seriously if you guys didn't write things like... "He writes like 12 year old stroke victim"... Right that's classy and shows that your opinion is pointless or that of a 13 year old. What I like about this site and the writers is that they are straight up nerds. They are fans of movies. Most people on here are the same. Yet there is a decently large group of overly bitter ass holes who hate everything and clearly are bitter they never got to make movies. It's pathetic and pointless to come on to a TB for one of Harry's reviews and then go on to ramble on in a bitter way. We get it your life sucks. Move on.

  • June 12, 2011, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Woody Allen is one of our greatest geek filmmakers

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Gravy

    No, he isn't. Not unless Harry has suddenly grown up and discovered a new found appreciation for Dostoyevsky and Dixieland Jazz, instead of saturday morning cartoons and Marvel comics.

  • June 12, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Ain't It Cool... 4 weeks ago.

    by Jerry Piper

    This movie has been out four weeks. WTF, did the studio embargo you an extra period of time?

  • June 12, 2011, 4:33 p.m. CST

    For Once... FOR ONCE...

    by TinkerTIW

    ...Harry is right. 'MIP' IS the best movie of 2011 so far.

  • June 12, 2011, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Harry you coward, MIP is a lame piece of trash

    by Nabster

    Woody is out of touch with modern society. He is very antiquated, and stuck in the 60s. His characters all talk and act like they are in the 60s. They talk about class struggle, bourgeois, feminism, and philosophy and all in a painful 60s manner. He made some good movies once upon a time, and now they're all pieces of shit.

  • wow - time travel fantasy to go to 1933 and sit behind three teenage boys . . .. . . . sounds like the Polanski-remake of Back to the Future . ..

  • June 12, 2011, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Tinker, agree with your agreement; MIP is the best of 2011 so far.

    by Jerry Piper

    Saw Tree of Life last night. MIP is better.

  • June 12, 2011, 5:15 p.m. CST

    This review made me turn gay

    by la_sith

    It has completely captured not only me, but my wife Yoko as well. We're over the moon for this one and can't wait for you to join me in this love affair with Paris throughout the ages.

  • June 12, 2011, 5:47 p.m. CST

    From Species to Woody Allen. 50,000 posts? Congrats!

    by orcus

  • June 12, 2011, 6:32 p.m. CST

    Goodnight Sweetheart meets Purple Rose...

    by DukeDeMondo

    Fair enough, I'm in. My favourite director of all ever, and I must say, although the thought of him returning to London (the site of his three most insufferable films) stomped the "scared" from out my arse with of the force of fifty thousand boot-heels laying waste a solitary wrung-done udder, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger was wonderful.

  • June 12, 2011, 6:52 p.m. CST


    by MC-909

    Bitter? Is that your argument, that people that complain about Harry's writing are "bitter"? Really? No. That's not your argument. Your argument is that you either know Harry, are related to Harry, are Harry, or just have no goddamn grasp on what it takes to write a cohesive sentence. Nevermind an entire article: one sentence. And what the hell makes you think people complain about this shit to look cool? Do you really think ANYONE thinks they're going to look cool by pointing out the terrible writing on THIS website? I've been coming here for almost fifteen years and in those almost-fifteen years this website has not improved one bit. Not the layout, not the coverage, and definitely not the writing. The only thing that DIDN'T need changing was the talkbacks. They were great the way they were. And so what did they change? The talkbacks. Stop being such a presumptuous ass and thinking people have ulterior motives when they have completely valid complaints. Is it too much to ask that when I visit this site, I don't feel like a fucking idiot for having read the random collections of words Harry throws up online? You know, the ones that are vaguely related to whatever movie AICN is pimping that week. Give me a fucking break, you little kid.

  • June 12, 2011, 7:08 p.m. CST


    by MooseMalloy

    ... pretty geeky to me.

  • The McAdams character makes the film impossible to enjoy completely. The scenes with Owen Wilson in olde tyme Paris were witty and pleasant, but McAdams was nails on a chalkboard every time she came on screen. There is no reason why the Wilson character would have ever proposed to her in the first place- and no reason why that character would have said yes to Wilson. Really sloppy, lazy writing. No reason why McAdams couldn't have had a desire of her own and ran off with a young Rockefeller or some other tycoon from that era. it's a shame because the magical realism portion of the movie is pretty fun.

  • June 12, 2011, 10:21 p.m. CST


    by coolhanddave

    clouds judgment.

  • June 12, 2011, 10:25 p.m. CST

    I'm curious...

    by chaburchak

    Those of you who've seen MIP, do they actually say Inez's father is a Republican, or is Harry baiting conservatives again by using it as a codeword for butthole?

  • June 12, 2011, 11:08 p.m. CST

    50K and Still Rollin'

    by Evil Chicken

    You go, Boyee. Here's to the next 50K!

  • June 12, 2011, 11:12 p.m. CST

    Cool stuff is cool stuff

    by cylon_conspiracy

    Whether it's Thor or First Class or a Woody Allen movie. Good stuff is good stuff. I am just as passionate about Woody Allen as I am for the last Star Trek movie... for different reasons. Everything fills its own niche in the universe of cool. People who are fans of quality see that quality in all different genres.

  • ...and it was - delightful, light, frothy and went down easy. It's hard to tell when Woody will be 'on' with a film, since he makes so many, but MIP was definitely 'on' from start to finish. It's also great to know you could start making movies at age 50 and pop out a dozen winners at the rate Allen's going. MIP should be remembered at awards time at least for art direction and Darius Khondji's ACE cinematography. It was also cool to see Owen Wilson playing something more Lightning McQueen this summer (especially after that personal rough period years ago). I appreciated that no subtitles seemed to be used except for one 'rire aux éclats' moment which I won't spoil. Woody Allen used the big names to make it a crowd-pleaser, but if MIP made you interested in the ART, the PERIOD and the LOCALE, I'd recommend a book called "The Cabarat" by Lisa Appignanesi: (hey, mom, no amazon click-thru links!) Also (surprisingly?) no AICN commemoration of the 30th of RAIDERS or CLASH OF THE TITANS for the, now gone, June 12. Oh well, try and remember again for their 40th, or the 100K AICN article, whichever comes first.

  • June 13, 2011, 1:01 a.m. CST

    Harry please dont forget your spoiler alerts.

    by Fritzlorrerains

    It would have been nice as i am seeing this movie tomorrow and didnt know it was a time travel movie. Please show a modicum of respect for your readers.

  • June 13, 2011, 1:22 a.m. CST



    you see, it just hit Austin this weekend. My embargo was until this Thursday night, but I loved the film so much, I wanted to celebrate it by giving it the #50,000 article spot.

  • June 13, 2011, 5:48 a.m. CST

    An oxymoron?

    by The StarWolf

    "Woody Allen Film" and "Best Film of 2011" in the same sentence. Unless 2011 is a far worse year for films than usual. But, no, I liked THOR a lot, so this whole piece is probably a type.

  • June 13, 2011, 6:45 a.m. CST

    i stopped seeing woody allen when he made

    by emeraldboy

    that atrocious movie jonathan rhyss myers and scarjo. the one set in london. cassadandras dream is the worst film woody allen ever made. that starred colin farrell with a cockney accent. no really. colin farrell with a cockney accent. ewen mcgregor and tom wilkinson.

  • June 13, 2011, 6:48 a.m. CST

    match point...

    by emeraldboy

    is the movie i am thinking.

  • June 13, 2011, 7:21 a.m. CST

    Woody is the most prolific director outside Mumbai

    by Knuckleface

    I cannot think of a more prolific director than Woody Allen. He;s been putting out at least one film a year for the past 5 decades, and sometimes he points out two films a year. Of course a lot of his films land with a thud, but he still manages to put out a winner every 3 or 4 years, which is still a better than virtually every other director. Of course, his 1970's output was the best, but lets be honest: everything was better in the 1970s. Match Point was a very good film, though even that was hampered by the silly dream sequences in the third act.

  • June 13, 2011, 7:45 a.m. CST

    Sleeper was probably the last movie Orcus enjoyed by him

    by orcus

    After Annie Hall trumped Star Wars, Woody was pretty much dead to Orcus after that

  • June 13, 2011, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Rachel McAdams

    by Philaspenser

    Yeah, Rachel's character was shrill and one-note, and would have benefitted from some nuances. Still, what was there was in the tradition of main movie characters using the course of the movie to learn how to stand up to that one shrill, unpleasant, controlling character (boss, spouse, local bully, etc.) who's been dominating her or her, so how things were set up wasn't exactly a weakness, just heavy on tradition. Anyway, overall I liked the movie a lot.

  • June 13, 2011, 9:39 a.m. CST

    An enjoyable film with some LAZY ASS writing (SPOILERS)

    by The Wolf at the Door

    "Gee, will Gil choose to go with the magical pixie dream girl from the past who fulfills all his fantasies? Or how about the cute French girl who seems to share all his same interests? Nah, I bet he stays with the castrating bitch of a buzzkill fiancee who doesn't understand him at all, makes no effort to see things his way or simply not make each day of his life more painful than the last while constantly belittling him in front of other people. (Oh, and she's cheating on him, in case there a shred of ambiguity left to the plot.)" <p> Honestly, why the hell do movies do that? It really speaks down the audience and drains what dramatic tension there could have been over Gil's character development and ultimate decisions. I enjoy Woody Allen but that was a cut-and-paste addition to what was otherwise a pretty clever movie (minus the Cliff Notes' version of the movie's message that Gil lectures out to the audience in the last scene with said magical pixie dream girl).

  • June 13, 2011, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Harry obviously looks into the future.

    by cookylamoo

    And sees the next six months are filled with shit.

  • June 13, 2011, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Allen is the only guy from the 70s still making good movies

    by Spandau Belly

    Sure, he has a fair amount of duds, but he makes a movie a year and at that rate, if only one in four is good, he's still producing more good films than most guys.

  • June 13, 2011, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Hobo With A Shotgun will be the best film of 2011

    by Spandau Belly

    I don't really see anything topping that.

  • June 13, 2011, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Knuckleface - Prolific?

    by The StarWolf

    Perhaps, but quantity doesn't necessarily equal quality. I'll tke a Director who puts out a few cinematic milestones (Kubrick, for example) over one who puts out a flood of trite pap.

  • June 13, 2011, 1:06 p.m. CST

    emeraldbro's least favourite woody allen film

    by emeraldboy

    is deconstructing harry.

  • June 13, 2011, 2:11 p.m. CST

    no goodies from sony...

    by emeraldboy

    no obit for laura ziskin. dispicable. she did huge of work to fight breast cancer. and for that she will be honoured.

  • June 13, 2011, 2:13 p.m. CST

    I know it's a geeksite, but Annie Hall is better than Star Wars

    by HypeEndsHere

    c'mon. Your argument is beneath you. As for MIP, it was very very sweet and humorous. Not his best, but far from his worst. I thin my favorite bit of dialogue is when Owen Wilson expressed his thoughts on Huckleberry Finn to Hemingway and used Hemingway's own quote just to get in good with him. I kind of found it inspirational and affirming that there is a place for a higher level of culture than anime and comics these days. And these are the post 80's strong films, m'kay?: Mighty Aphrodite, Sweet and Lowdown, Matchpoint, and Vicky Christina Barcelona.

  • June 13, 2011, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Huzzah mugato5150. Well said sir, well said

    by orcus

    That was probably one of the funnier things Orcus read here today

  • June 13, 2011, 9:38 p.m. CST

    If you've seen this movie, google...

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    Moberly–Jourdain incident.

  • June 13, 2011, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Annie Hall is a zillion times better than Star Wars

    by Fieldingm

    and it's also far from Woody's best work. The man was just getting started with Annie Hall and Manhattan. Anyway, I'm telling all you braindead naysayers right now - Midnight in Paris will get Oscar noms for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Costume Design and Art Direction.

  • June 13, 2011, 11:52 p.m. CST


    by cymbalta4thedevil

    What a cool grandpa! After reading that, I miss him too. I hope someday when you're a grandpa you introduce your teenage grandkids to Woody Allen too. I wade through so many negative posts on AICN, but every once in awhile someone like you reminds me of why we all love movies in the first place.

  • June 14, 2011, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Great review, Harry

    by Warren Fahy


  • June 14, 2011, 6:23 a.m. CST

    Fantastic film - better going in knowing nothing about it

    by drwilliamweir

    ... like I did. It's just a nice, heartwarming story with a solid backbone to it. It's not classic Allen as some might see it, it does pander to the antiquated, romantic and typically American view of Europe, but hey, it's a fantasy. Don't we all want to feel good sometimes?

  • That doesn't make sense?

  • June 14, 2011, 6:25 a.m. CST

    Also - screw Wolverines cameo in First Class...

    by drwilliamweir

    ... it doesn't touch Adrian Brody in this. Really the best "cameo" I've ever seen in a film full of cameos.

  • There was a comedian who made a joke to Woody Allen that went something like: Why don't you make a joke that only you understand Bananas and Sleeper were actually funny but anything after just seems like the audience is sitting in on one of his therapy sessions. Seriously, does anyone who does not suffer from any form of neurosis or sexual dysfunction, an inability to form a stable relationship or is not part Jewish really like his movies? Although this earlier works do have those elements, as time and his movies progressed those themes pound you more and more over the head. Yes Woody, we get it, you're fucked up in the head, can we go home now?

  • June 14, 2011, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Geeks don't even know what "geek" means...

    by Supernatural_Canary

    I guess I’m going to have to be the asshole who gives the definition of “geek” to point out to you geeks that Harry has used the word correctly: <p> Webster’s: <br> 1 : a person often of an intellectual bent who does not fit in socially with others -- often used as a generalized term of disapproval<br> 2 : an enthusiast or expert especially in a technological field or activity <computer geek> <film geek> <p> Oxford:<br> An unfashionable or socially inept person<br> [with adj.] a person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest <p> Notice the “film geek” part in Webster’s definition. Just because you people adhere to a narrow definition of “geek,” doesn’t mean you have the right to lambast someone else’s broader (and incidentally more accurate) definition. <p> Owning a bunch of action figures does not a geek make.

  • June 14, 2011, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Nobody from the 70's making movies any more?

    by Hipshot

    There's this guy named Spielberg who might disagree.

  • June 14, 2011, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Nails on a chalkboard

    by Evan Dent

    That's normally my reaction to Woody Allen. This one sounds good though. I like the actors involved, so I'll give it a go. Congrats on 50,000 AICN!

  • June 14, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    I find Woody Allen films to be unwatchable.

    by JackSlater4

  • June 14, 2011, 12:32 p.m. CST

    And geeks bite the heads off chickens

    by JackSlater4

  • June 14, 2011, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Anyone can buy an action figure

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    A geek knows why all three leads cast in Schumacher's Phantom ended up as action figures.

  • June 15, 2011, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Best movie of the summer...

    by cupp555 far. I absolutely loved it. Right on Harry. Great review. Well worth seeing!

  • June 17, 2011, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Harry

    by _Lizarkeo

    Watched tonight. Loved it. And I had a geek short circuit when I saw Kim Pine from Sex Bob-Omb married with Loki himself!! And yes, the best cameo of 2011: Adrien Brody. Cheers.

  • June 18, 2011, 9:41 p.m. CST

    MIP is not the best movie of the year so far

    by James_Camera_On

    That spot is still held by the incomparable Sucker Punch. But MIP is very good (I haven't been to a Woody Allen film is many years and this was just amazing, a loving recreation of a time/place of history I know something about). It should easily place in the 2011's top ten list of everyone who loves movies. Keep it up, Woody, or something like that. Next stop, the Tree of Life.

  • June 19, 2011, 10:44 a.m. CST


    by mike yager

    My wife and I went last night, and both fell completely in love with the film. There's a romance and charm to Allen's work here that you'd have to be completely jaded to resist. I didn't stop smiling from the time the trademark Windsor font appeared till the credits rolled. It stands among the likes of Hannah and Her Sisters and Manhattan one of his best films, and is definitely one I'll be watching many times in the future. Best of the year so far, though I might flip-flop it with Tree of Life a few dozen times before I make up my mind.

  • June 22, 2011, 8:51 a.m. CST


    by Hive Mind

    I saw it, and like a lot of Woody Allen film, couldn't help but think I was watching a play on film instead of a film. I also could not buy the notion the Gil had enough interesting things to say to capture the imaginations of those literary greats. Any filmmaker who still uses the cliche of 'culturally stunted Republican dad' obviously does NOT have much else to say...doesn't Woody know there's a Sunday evening cartoon with that very premise? Maybe Owen Wilson just doesn't have the acting chops to be believable here.

  • June 22, 2011, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Breakdown of the first 50,000 articles...

    by CountOrlok

    25,000 articles not pertaining to film news in the least 15,000 contests to win some lame prize 5,000 pictures of movie posters 4,000 bogus rumors and false info 700 obituaries 300 actual pieces of Cool News related to film

  • June 27, 2011, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Woody Allen creeps me out.

    by v3d

    Taking naked pictures of, then banging your step daughter. Not as bad as child rapist Polanski but not to far off.

  • July 8, 2011, 1:37 a.m. CST

    woody allen's version of inception.

    by Ben Fong-Torres

  • July 11, 2011, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Midnight in Paris

    by Karen Hinojosa

    I have to agree! This was an amazing movie, and one of my absolute favorites of all time!

  • July 12, 2011, 4:22 p.m. CST

    More on Midnight...

    by Karen Hinojosa

    As a fan of time travel movies, I feel this is one of the best ever. The pure fantasy of going back to an era of fascination. I love the fact that it doesn't get into the how, but just accepts it as happening and enjoy it. Wonderful article, congratulations on your 50,000th! Nice choice!